Transcontinental Railroad In Westward Expansion

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The Transcontinental Railroad played a significant role in the settlement of the American West. As of May 10th, 1869, this railroad became the area’s newest and fastest mode of transportation. Its first obligation was to bring settlers in at very low cost, and, sometimes, even free of charge. The types of people that began to migrate West were those who were searching for a better life. One which contains less poverty and more opportunities. These individuals were eager to take advantage of the land being sold by the U.S. government at conveniently low prices. The abundant migration of settlers began to benefit this area in many ways. For starters, migration allowed the already existing industries to begin to thrive. The leading industries…show more content…
Many Native American tribes, including the Sioux, had been hunting and living off of the land long before the white man had arrived. Through the years, these tribes had claimed ownership over the land and were enraged when the settlers began to invade and demolish their land, killing their main source of food and clothing, the buffalo. To make matters worse, President Andrew Jackson enacted the Indian Removal Act which authorized the forcing of these tribes onto reservations in Oklahoma and elsewhere. But, some tribes, the Sioux in particular, fiercely resisted. Hostilities between the Native Americans and the white man were now more apparent than ever. Raids carried out by both sides took place often. These raids resulted in the destruction and burning of housing and supplies and often led to a loss of numerouos lives. These happenings occurred around the same time that Jules Verne’s novel, Around The World In 80 Days, took place. An excellent example within the novel that correctly portrays the Native American’s hostility towards the people that they see as invaders takes place while the group is traveling by rail to Omaha.” They then perceived that the train was attacked by a band of Sioux. This was not the first attempt of these daring Indians, for more than once they had waylaid trains on the road.” The white man treated the Indians very poorly taking their land and their main food source. In result, the Indians fought back, and when they did so, the whites did too with just as much force. This controversy’s source was the very same railroad that impacted the West in many beneficial ways. There are always negatives and positives when a transformation occurs. The westward expansion of the transcontinental railroad is a prime example. It has impacted the land in multiple ways, and helped to form the thriving economy that makes up the area

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